Company addresses the urgent need to train nurses and doctors more rapidly and is already being used at scale in hospitals and universities across the US and UK
27th October, London: Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS), a provider of highly realistic virtual reality healthcare training, has raised a further £2.1 million in a funding round that included ACF Investors and angel investor Dr Nicolaus Henke, former chairman of Quantum Black and former head of McKinsey’s global healthcare practice.
OMS is a software platform that uses immersive VR simulations with AI-controlled patients to train healthcare professionals using hundreds of clinical scenarios. These scenarios let learners train whenever they need to, practicing in virtual consultations, emergencies and procedures so they don’t risk lives in the real world. As well as enhancing training quality, these simulations also allow many more healthcare professionals to be trained in a shorter space of time: a conventional training centre will deliver around 200 simulations per month, whereas OMS recently delivered 6,000 sessions per month in one site alone, at a fraction of the cost.
Dr Jack Pottle, Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of OMS, notes that this efficiency provides a practical solution to healthcare systems around the world that are facing a major crisis in staffing. Presently, healthcare providers simply cannot train enough workers to keep up with demand. A July 2022 report by the UK’s parliamentary health and social care select committee found that the NHS is facing the “greatest workforce crisis in their history” and had nearly 100,000 advertised vacancies as of September 2021.
A recent report by McKinsey called the crisis a “gathering storm” and predicted that the US will face shortages of up to 450,000 registered nurses and 80,000 physicians by 2025. Studies suggest that pressures resulting from these shortages will also compromise the competency of newly trained staff, worsening the situation.
The Kings Fund – a leading healthcare think tank – notes: “The training of new staff is a key route to supplying the staff that health systems need”. To address this crisis, health systems need to rapidly increase their training capacity.
Michael Wallace, CEO and co-founder of OMS, commented on the investment: “We see this funding as an opportunity to supercharge our growth and rapidly increase the number of healthcare professionals around the world who have access to our training.
“We want to enable nurses, doctors and allied healthcare professionals to do what they do with confidence and competence. We believe that by providing immersive, hyper-realistic training on a massive scale we can deliver better training to many more people and ultimately improve health outcomes for patients.”
The company’s client base includes a wide range of NHS Trusts and universities as well as leading US universities, including John Hopkins University and Duke University, and several US health systems. OMS will use this latest funding to rapidly expand its product offering across healthcare education and practice, and to scale its US expansion.
Tim Mills, Managing Partner at ACF Investors comments: “Oxford Medical Simulation is providing state of the art, immersive training which uses emerging VR and AR technology to tackle the global healthcare worker shortage head-on. The team has already achieved some fantastic results – as seen in the company’s growth momentum and the quality of its customer base. It is, quite rightly, a demanding customer base, but they have shown the potential to ensure we all have access to highly trained healthcare professionals in the future.
Dr Nicolaus Henke adds: “Michael and his team are transforming the way healthcare training is delivered and experienced. Virtual simulation creates a better and more immersive training experience for learners, while at the same time freeing up very experienced senior nurses and doctors for important clinical and education leadership tasks. Not only do I see a broad market need for this technology in clinical education and training, but the opportunity to create a higher quality, more engaging training experience will be of enormous benefit to wider society”.